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More than 16 per cent of voters have visited advanced polls so far in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky

Advanced polls are open until Wednesday, Oct. 21
bc voting place whistler conference centre polls bc election by megan lalonde
Voters can cast their ballots at the Whistler Conference Centre for this week's provincial election. Photo by Megan Lalonde

As Saturday's provincial election day approaches, more than 16 per cent of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky voters have already cast their ballots. 

According to statistics released by Elections BC, 6,968 of the riding's 42,786 registered voters visited advance polls in the first five days they were open, from Oct. 15 to 19. Advance polls in the Sea to Sky corridor will be open at the Whistler Conference Centre, Pemberton Secondary School, the Sea to Sky Hotel, and the 55 Activity Centre until  8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

That's up slightly from the number of people who opted to vote ahead of time in B.C.'s last provincial election. During the first five days of advance polling in 2017, 5,965 voters in the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding submitted their ballots, or about 15.5 per cent of the 38,470 registered voters in the riding that year.  

However, the more recent advanced poll numbers don't include the thousands of people who decided to mail in their votes this time around. 

Elections BC data shows 7,704 voters across the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky requested mail-in voting packages this year. 

If you were one of them, but haven't had a chance to head to the post box yet, you might want to re-consider your voting options. 

Voters who haven’t returned their mail-in package should now plan to drop it off in person to a designated drop-off location, or ditch the plan to vote by mail and instead vote in person during advance voting or on Election Day.

Designated drop-off locations include district electoral offices, voting places during voting hours, and some Service BC locations.
Elections BC had recommended all mail-in ballots to be sent off by last Saturday, Oct. 17, in order to ensure Elections BC receives the completed vote-by-mail packages by 8 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Voters who have requested a vote-by-mail package must destroy it if they choose to vote in person.

The large number of anticipated mail-in ballots means it’s possible the outcome of the election won’t actually be known on election night.

While votes cast on Election Day and in advance polls from people who voted in their district are counted on election night, absentee ballots—including mail-in ballots—don’t get counted until at least 13 days after the election.

All absentee and mail-in ballots must be manually verified before they are counted—a process that could take more than two weeks.

- With files from Jane Seyd / North Shore News